One of the many aisles in 168 Asia Mart
One of the many aisles in 168 Asia Mart

[box type=”default” size=”large”] 168 Asian Mart offers a wide range of Asian food products [/box]

Doing your marketing at the new 168 Asian Mart at 32393 John R Road, Madison Heights, Michigan is an enjoyable experience: The place is not only spacious and clean and has almost all kinds of Asian food products, but the prices are comparatively cheap.

We were at 168 Asian Mart last Tuesday (April 28) to attend a networking event of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce-Michigan, and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that this new establishment has already opened its doors to the public.

Ricky Dong and Cindy Wang, the couple who owns and operates 168 Asian Mart (they also own the nearby Fuji Japanese Buffet), told us, though, that the market  is operating only on a dry-run basis and that the grand opening will be held on June 2, 2015.

The dry run is intended to detect possible hitches in the system, Cindy said, so that when it is fully opened, the operation will be running smoothly.

Perhaps there are some technical hitches in its operations now, but in so far as we’re concerned, the place amazed us when we visited it.

With a floor area of 38,000 square feet, 168 Asian Mart is said to be the biggest Asian market in the Midwest. It’s much bigger than a Kroger store.

One thing impressive about it is the wide range of Asian food products it offers. For example, its noodle section has almost all kinds of Asian noodles. There are at least eight kinds of Philippine noodles.

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It was the fish section that immediately drew our attention. The frozen fish include those we used to enjoy eating in our homeland. These included “dalag,” “hito,” “bangus” and “bea.” We bought hito which we later cooked as catfish adobo, and bea which we cooked with coconut milk (gata).

In the fresh fish section, there are live crabs, lobster, tilapia, turtles, etc. There are more than two dozen aquariums in which the live fish and lobsters are kept.

And the prices were amazing! For example, pomfret is priced at only $2.99 per pound. We used to buy this kind of sea fish at an Asian store near our place where it was sold for $12.99 per pound. We bought two pieces of pomfrets at 168 Asian Mart, and we paid only $10.55.

Its fresh meat section sells meats like pork which are really fresh.

If you get hungry while doing your marketing, you could go to its food court. You could enjoy eating delicious Asian snacks such as porridge (lugaw), pancit, etc.

We learned from the owner (Ricky) that 168 Asian Mart has a section for lechon. It has two sets of machines that can grill eight lechons at one time.

Asian Mart has also a big bakery but it was not yet in operation when we were there.

The next time you do your marketing, try 168 Asian Mart. You will certainly enjoy it. (Tony Antonio)